Lighting Specifications for Nighttime Construction Work Zones on Active Highways

Maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and upgrading of existing facilities have replaced new construction as the dominant infrastructure activity on the highway system. This means that much of the work is done under traffic. In urban areas with large traffic volumes and associated congestion this has led to scheduling more nighttime construction so as to avoid high traffic volumes and congestion problems. Nighttime work requires adequate lighting in work zones to insure quality construction. In addition, proper lighting for worker, inspector and motorist safety is a major consideration. In some instances work zone illumination requirements may be in conflict with safety requirements and require special lighting system design and application. Several types of lighting may be required to provide general site or background lighting, focused work area lighting and protective lighting for equipment and workers. Special shielding, directional control, and transition zones may be required to insure that motorist vision is not impaired. Many work zones are at a fixed location, such as, a bridge deck repair, or mobile, such as, a paving operation. Mobile work zones create special problems because they constantly move and operations are often spread out over a large area that is often adjacent to an in-service traffic lane. A paving train constructing a hot mix asphalt concrete overlay may consist of a broom sweeping the surface, a distributor truck placing tack coat, trucks hauling mix, a paver receiving and spreading mix, several rollers compacting the mat, and technicians measuring smoothness and density. At each station along the paving train, different levels of lighting may be required dependent on the particular work activity. The first objective of this project was to conduct a literature review to determine recommended illumination levels for various highway construction activities, light systems for providing required illumination, and methods for directing and shielding lighting. The second objective was to review editions of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and to cite all requirements for nighttime work zones. The third objective involved identifying and reviewing selected state departments of transportation and other agency specifications as they apply to nighttime roadway construction. The fourth objective was to conduct site investigations of nighttime work area projects. The fifth and final objective was to assimilate all of the previous findings and develop a recommended nighttime lighting specification appropriate to the Alabama Department of Transportation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Alabama Department of Transportation

    1409 Coliseum Boulevard
    Montgomery, AL  United States  36130-3050
  • Authors:
    • Vecellio, Robert L
    • McCarthy, John R
  • Publication Date: 2006-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 123p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046424
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 930-470
  • Created Date: Apr 16 2007 5:01PM